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Office Of the Chief Executive Officer New Orchard Road


Armond, NI 10504

June 8, 2020

The Honorable Karen Bass


United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Cony Booker


United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Kamala Harris


United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries


United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Jerrold Nadler


United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senators Booker and Harris, and Representatives Bass, Jeffries, and Nadler:

ln September 1953, more than a decade before the passage Of the Civil Rights Act, IBM
took a bold stand in favor of equal opportunity. Thomas J. Watson, Jr., then presid€mt of
IBM, wrote to all employees:

" . . .Each Of the citizens of this country has an equal right to live and work in
America. It is the policy of this organization to hire people who have the
personality, talent and background necessary to fill a given job, regardless of
race, color or creed."

Watson backed up this statement with action, refusing to enforce Jim Crow laws at IBM
facilities. Yet neariy seven decades later, the horrible and tragic deaths of George Floyd,
Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many others remind us that the fight against
racism is as urgent as ever.

To that end, IBM would like to work with Congress in pursuit of justice and racial equity,
focused initially in three key policy areas: police reform, responsible use of technol()gy,
and broadening skills and educational opportunities. Our suggestions include:
Police reform - new federal rules should hold police more accountable for
misconduct.

Congress should bring more police misconduct cases under federal court purview aind
should make modifications to the qualified immunity doctrine that prevents individuals
from seeking damages when police violate their constitutional rights. Congress shoiild
also establish a federal registry of police misconduct and adopt measures to encourage
or compel states and localities to review and update use-of-force policies. We also urge
Congress to consider legislation such as the Walter Scott Notification Act, sponsored by
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, which would require that states receiving federal
funding report more details on the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers t() the
Department of Justice so that an accurate picture of such incidents is available for public
scrutiny and analysis.

Several of these suggestions are included in the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 that you
recently introduced. IBM welcomes your early leadership in announcing these proposals
and stands ready to work with you and other Members of Congress, from both sides of
the aisle, toward broad bipartisan legislation that can be enacted into law.

Responsible technology policies -technology can increase transparency and


help police protect communities but must not promote discrimination or racial
injustice.

IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software. IBM
firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition
technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of
basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values
and Principles of Trust and Transparency. We believe now is the time to begin a
national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed
by domestic law enforcement agencies.

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool that can help law enforcement keep citizens safe.
But vendors and users of Al systems have a shared responsibility to ensure that Al is
tested for bias, particulariy when used in law enforcement, and that such bias testing is
audited and reported.

Finally, national poliey also should encourage and advance uses of technology that bring
greater transparency and acoountability to policing, such as body cameras and modern
data analytics techniques.

Expanding opportunity -training and education for in-demand skills is key to


expanding economic opportunity for communities of color.

We need to create more open and equitable pathways for all Americans to acquire
marketable skills and training, and the need is particularly acute in communities of color.
At IBM, we see an urgent demand for what we call "new collar" jobs, which require
specialized skills but not necessarily a traditional 4-year college degree. Such jobs (ran
still be found today in fast-growing fields from cybersecurity to cloud computing. We urge
Congress to consider national policies to expand the number and reach of programs
such as:
P-TECH -Developed by IBM earlier this decade, P-TECH is a grade 9-14 school
model where students earn both their high school diploma and a no-cost
associates degree in a STEM field without incurring student debt. Today, 22() P-
TECH schools are serving 150,000 students worldwide, with a heavy focus on
students of color in educationally underserved areas in the United States. From
Brooklyn to Chicago, from Dallas to Baltimore, these schools are creating real
opportunities and real jobs for young people today. We should scale them
nationally.

Pell Grants -Today Pell Grants are an important pathway for students of color
to go to college, But there are virtually no Federal funds available for non-college
skills training orjob certification programs for in-demand New Collar jobs.
Eligibility for Pell Grants should be expanded -including for incarcerated pel'sons
- beyond traditional four-year degree programs so that students with real
economic need can build relevant skills through other education and training
pathways that fit their life circumstances.

We offer these suggestions in the constructive spirit of problem-solving that has always
defined our company and its people. We realize these measures are only a beginning,
but IBM wants to help advance this nation's pursuit of equity and justice and we stand
ready to work with you to advance policies that will help unify our country and advarice
our national purpose.

Sincerely,

Mwhd X!hiAhaa
Arvind Krishna

CC:
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Majon.ty Leader, House of Representatives
The Honorable James Clybum. Majority Whip, House of Representatives
The Honorable Kevin Mccarthy, Minority Leader, House of Representatives
The Honorable Steve Scalise, Minority Whip, House of Representatives

The Honorable Charles Grassley, President Pro Tempore, United States Senate
The Honorable Mitch Mcconnell, Majority Leader, United States Senate
The Honorable John Thune, Majority Whip, United States Senate
The Honorable Charles Schumer, Minority Leader, United States Senate
The Honorable Richard Durbin, Minority Whip, United States Senate
The Honorable Tim Scott, United States Senate